How extraversion structures friendship networks: an agent-based modeling approach

Alec McGail


Extraversion is here defined as the amount of interaction a person desires, along two dimensions: time spent with others, and total number of contacts. Through simulation, I investigate how differing preference distributions in the population affect global structural properties, such as degree distribution and the global equilibrium satisfaction people have with their social lives. For example, I observe that lower variation in extraversion in the population leads to less "dissatisfaction" over the population as a whole. To test the robustness of these observations, I perturb the idealistic simulation with various real-world elements, such as social foci, time constraints, differences in tastes and affinities, the use of technology to curb loneliness, differential sociability, disaster or mass-migration, etc. In lieu of discussing the results of all these perturbations in full, I make the code for these available for collaborative input and use, and discuss extension of this code to friendship preferences more generally.

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